Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei has reiterated its warning to the US government that once the company’s Harmony operating system (OS) becomes operational, it may affect companies like Google as there will be no turning back from there. Huawei recently confirmed that the US sanctions were hurting it badly, especially the absence of Google’s core Android software, Play Store and popular apps like Search and Maps on its devices.
In an interview given to CNN on Tuesday, Zhengfei said Washington will eventually help competitors gain if it continues to place restrictions on who US companies can trade with.
If Huawei can’t work with US suppliers, “we will have to resort to alternatives. If those alternatives become mature, I think it’ll become less likely to switch back to previous versions,” the Huawei CEO was quoted as saying.
If Huawei is forced to “resort to alternatives” to Google, it will only harm US companies. “[It] is a critical moment for all of us, I hope the US government can consider what’s best for American companies,” Zhengfei added.
He said becoming a top player in the world of Android would not be a problem, adding “it will just take more time”.
Earlier, the Chinese telecom giant said that the US government’s order to bar US telecom companies from using federal funds to buy products from Huawei is “unlawful”.
Its response came after the US Federal Communications Commission listed Huawei and its industry peer ZTE as so-called “threats to national security” and thus barred companies from using money from the its Universal Service Fund (USF), which is $8.5 billion every year, to purchase technology from the two Chinese companies.
The US government made the decision “based on selective information, innuendo, and mistaken assumptions,” and it provided “no evidence that Huawei poses a security risk,” according to a statement issued by Huawei.
“These unwarranted actions will have profound negative effects on connectivity for Americans in rural and underserved areas across the United States,” said Huawei.
“Many carriers rely on Huawei for its high-quality, market-leading, and cost-effective equipment and services,” the company said.
Last week, the US Department of Commerce extended a temporary license loosening restrictions on business deals with Huawei for another 90 days.
“The Temporary General License (TGL) extension will allow carriers to continue to service customers in some of the most remote areas of the United States who would otherwise be left in the dark,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a statement.
Huawei said that “without access to those solutions, these carriers will lose their ability to provide reliable and high-speed telecommunications and internet services” and “rural schools, hospitals, and libraries will feel the effects”.
The US Department of Commerce in May put Huawei on its Entity List over the so-called “national security concerns.”
Huawei said in a statement on May 20 that the US export control decision is in no one’s interest and will do significant economic harm to the American companies with which Huawei does business.